Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting Animated

I like a film shoot as much as the next gal. Hello? Craft service. Yum. And speaking of craft. I love crafting an emotional connection with the viewer by capturing "real life" meets "what-we-wish-life-really-were" moments that you get from shooting a true moving picture.


Film shoots are especially fun (fun meaning unpredictable) if there are dogs or babies involved. TFCU always includes at least one if not both. But they are so worth it in the end. Kleenex please.


But we've also created several animated videos for other credit unions like, Belvoir FCU, Amarillo FCU and Allegiance FCU

So why does this creative director think the animated approach is also a great alternative for credit unions?

1. You can stretch a television production budget (get more bang for your buck.. and yes, us creatives care about your budget)

2. Create an affordable (yes, we know that word, too) video for an internal launch or for branch multimedia and website play (even if you don't do TV placement)

3. Retain a high quality feel (your spot is playing right next to a national one and the viewer doesn't feel like yours is the "homegrown" commercial)

4. The visuals translate great online, where video is quickly becoming a must-have (smaller screens = me like pretty pictures)

5. Promote products with "pop" to get a short-term results boost as a balance to your overall long-term branding (rather than trying to clutter your awareness messaging with salesy offers)

And even though you might think animation equals childish. Think again. And ignore the sock monkey below for just a second because it sort of negates my point. But animation have to mean cartoon. Set into motion photos, type, colors, illustrations and combine them with that just-the-right voice and that I'll-know-it's-right-when-I-hear-it music, and you begin to emote a lively, or a stirring, or even quirky (now enter sock monkey) moving message.


So as just static images, you ask "what the heck does a sock monkey have to do with getting a credit card?"

But set it into motion, and this "un-strings" attached credit card spot drives home the point. This is the third of a series of videos we've created for Northwest Georgia Credit Union, from their initial brand launch to a summer auto loan promotion.


These objects alone might look like a study in yellow...

But they actually represent the three pillars "open," "honest" and "hardworking" of ABNB Federal Credit Union's new brand.


And who says an animated spot can't be warm, sincere – or rooted in something substantial?

Voice and music are the most compelling ways to bring a story to life, like we did for LaCapitol Federal Credit Union when they redefined their brand across the state of Louisiana.

And video doesn't just have to mean television. The ABNB and La Cap videos are also a great example of videos that were created for internal launches to employees and staff, that were later were more easily translated into shorter tv spots when they were ready to roll out their messaging to the greater community.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The "Snow" Must Go On!

Just because almost half the country is covered in a big ol' blanket of snow and ice, doesn't mean we don't all have to eventually dig ourselves out of our driveways and make our way back to the nine-to-five.


For Third Degree-ers navigating snow drifted streets and icy intersections is pretty much a universally tricky but all-in-all doable feat. And our careful trek from the parking lot to the safety and warmth of our office is probably just like yours (translation: perhaps one out of five of us fall on our posteriors before making it to our front door).



Our attempts at making snowballs, perhaps a little on the pathetic side. And our outerwear apparel, er, well, let's just say orange knit U-Haul hats are probably a bit on the unique side.



But once we get inside staying as "hot" as our brand, is a little bit more of a challenge. That, my friends, is our state-of-the-art heating and air system. It has an on and off switch. But the "on" setting is debatable. When your agency is housed in a turn-of-the-century warehouse (which is cool to be sure) certain additional provisions must be made.


Fingerless gloves... a must for typing, designing, copywriting and not losing your digits to frostbite.


Hot drinks... in Daniel's case fancy tea in a fancy, fancy tea cup.


In Holly's case... a cup of joe in styrofoam. Note the scarf and puffy vest are an all-day indoor fashion statement. At least they match.


Having a space heater that close to your face just cannot be a good thing.


But, portable heaters are a staple under every desk. Some of us keep our rugged footwear on all day.


Some bring a change of shoes. Not forsaking fashion for function.


And some will just forsake all professionalism at this point for warm tootsies. (Even while they are drinking fancy, fancy tea out of a fancy tea cup... not to give away the anonymity of this socked creative).

Hey, it's just all in the spirit of serving it up hot. Or at least not frozen for today.